Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blue Crag Area

At long last I got out on the skis this weekend. Two very weak storms provided a light dusting at lower elevations, but 4" to 6" higher near the crest.

I cruised out of Tamarack near Mammoth Lakes towards the Blue Crag area.

I am most enamored with my new ski boots. "The Green Machines" have slipper like comfort, lots of power, and are amazingly light.
Here's a shot of the Blue Crag area with Blue Crag on the left. Several fine ski lines descend from the crest here.
I chose the broad chute system just west of the Blue Crag Couloir. Probably ought to be called the Blue Pinnacles Couloir! My route headed up an left out of the frame.
Blue Crag from the west, midway up the Pinnacle couloir.
Pinnacles. The red and yellow lichen was striking (click to enlarge).
Looking down the chute with my skin track. Skinning was remarkably easy with the fresh snow over a soft/spongy base.
Another fine pinnacle.
Almost there! The new snow seemed to have fallen primarily as Graupel (round snow pellets) and gave the snow a nice looking texture.
It's always nice to top out and enjoy the views. Fog covered Mono Lake is in the distance and the Mammoth ski area is just left of the top of the pinnacle. The large plateau with the tree circle is the top of the Sherwins.
The skiing was great - not quite epic powder, but consistent and soft. This is a view up after my run. (click to enlarge, as always!).
Somehow I end up in this area at least once every year. The approach is a bit long, but I love the alpine feel and the solitude of this part of the Mammoth Crest.

1 comment:

All Mountain Access said...

Hey Scott,
Love the photos and the descriptions. I haven't been up to the Mammoth area, but after reading through your blog that is going to have to change soon. You're right it looks very pristine and beautiful. How are the crowds near the crag? What sort of set up do you use, I noticed you mentioned new boots.

If you have the chance please check us out at and also on our Facebook page. Just a quick search for "All Mountain Access" should work. We are always looking to hear about folks adventure in the backcountry.